This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Shift.com. All words and opinions are the author’s own.
When I got the news from Adam that Shift.com wanted us to try out their used car buying service, I browsed through their site and thought to myself, this is just going to be just another Carmax experience. Boy was I wrong.
Choosing to buy a used car is usually the soundest thing to do with your money. It saves you from the instant depreciation once you drive off the lot, though you can’t help but think if the car your buying might have some problems with it.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, used car buying can be scary.
Generally, folks choose between three popular options when buying a used car. The most common would be to head over to your local used car dealership where there is a chance you might get screwed over on financing or end up with a lemon. Then there’s Craigslist, as you know I have been very familiar with. This option can be sketchy if you’re clueless.
You might meet up with someone untrustworthy that “forgets” to tell you the issues about the car. You might also get a chance to test drive and purchase a potentially stolen vehicle. Worst of all, there is a high-risk chance of buying a lemon, which actually happened to me in my latest Will It Flip project.
You’ll have to wait for that story.
Lastly, there is Carmax. This is a popular one. The place has warranties, no-haggle pricing, and pretty good customer service. But all three of those options have one big inconvenience: You’re going to spend a good chunk of your day to see the car.
What if I told you there is a much better and easier way? Shift is a new used car buying service that is unlike any other I’ve experienced. I will break down for you. I was told that I could test-drive any used car I desired on their site. Of course to me this meant either finding the most expensive car, one with the most horsepower, or both. Upon first browsing their current stock, I narrowed my choices down between a 911 Carrera S or a Hellcat Challenger, I went with the latter since I’ve actually never driven a muscle car before and also because, c’mon man, Hellcat.
Now what’s game-changing about booking a drive through Shift.com is that you can actually choose the meeting location of your test drive. That means you can summon the car you’re interested in to your house, your job, your ex’s place, or anywhere you want. Aside from the obvious choice of choosing the Hellcat, I figured it would make sense to have the car delivered to an inconvenient location; some random beach in Malibu close to Neptune’s Net.
Within minutes of completing the booking form, I received a call from a real life person from Shift.com verifying and confirming my drive. This is also the part where they would ask to verify your credit score. This is to make sure you can actually afford the car you booked and you’re not just some kid like myself who wants to take some fancy car out for a drive. Following this call, I received an email confirming the date, time, location, and the phone number of the delivery guy or as they call it, “car enthusiast”, who will be delivering the car to you, my guy’s name was Colston.
The morning of the drive I received a call from Colston to verify that it was still a go. He also called me again when he was on the way to the location and when had arrived. If calls were inconvenient, you can also request for a text conversation instead. This transparency in communication opens up the ability for you to request a different time or location depending on how your day goes. They are flexible will pretty much work within your schedule to your convenience. Like I said, this is a used car buying experience unlike anything I’ve ever heard of. When he arrived, I was actually expecting someone in uniform to show up with a car on a trailer, because that’s what you usually get when you’re buying a used car from a company. Instead Colston drove the car to the location himself and was dressed in vans and casual attire with a Shift branded jacket. I dig this because I believe that casual attires always give off a more personable vibe.
He gave me a detailed rundown about the company, the car, and the buying process. I also received a 200-point inspection report, brief about the car, and the Carfax history report. With the inspection report, you are shown all of the issues with the car if it has any. If there is anything that needs attention, Shift will pay for it on behalf of the original seller, that way you will never get a lemon from them. You get about 45 minutes to test-drive the car and maybe even more if their day is not packed with clients. During that time you have the ability to drive it as if you had already owned the car. That meant you could have it delivered to your home in the morning and drive it to work, vice versa, drive it to your friends and family members’ place for their approval, see how it sits in your drive way, or even fit test a baby seat you already own. I chose to take the hellcat down PCH to feel all 707 horses.
Another interesting point about the experience was that Colston was not at all pushy about selling it during our time together. Instead he would show off features and facts about the car. The reason behind this is because Colston is not a salesman; instead he is more of a car concierge, Shift is not a dealership but more of a liaison between the actual owner of the car and you. You decide if you want the car or not, the buyer is in complete control of the whole experience.
After driving around in the Hellcat on a wide-open part of PCH doing the speed limit, we went back to the parking lot and he explained the process if one were to move forward in buying it. As a buyer, you have the option to purchase the car up front with cash or check and if you don’t have stacks of money to shell out, they have several financing options to choose from. Two of which you can get on the spot. If you’re not ready to purchase for whatever reason but want the car, you have the option to hold it for three days with a $95 deposit. Shift will take care of the registration and all the paperwork making the buying process as easy for you as possible. If you took the chance to click the link and visit the site during this review you might have noticed that they have pretty competitive prices. That is because the company is a liaison between the seller and buyer. It is like having all the benefits of personal interaction from buying through craigslist without the sketchiness and the ease of mind from buying through a dealership without the haggle or hassle.
I can honestly say if I were to ever buy a newer used car in the future, I would seriously consider looking at Shift.com first. It is the ultimate VIP experience for buying used cars. The process of booking, driving, and buying a car is purely catered to the customer. Maybe the fact that I drove a Hellcat made me a little biased but if I were to compare the customer service experience to how the Hellcat drives on a straight, I’d have to say it’s on par if not better. Thanks to shift.com, the future of buying used cars is very bright.
Photos: @reu.j and @theblownbulb